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How to Unmerge Cells in Google Sheets (Quick Guide)

Merging cells is quite common when working with data in Google Sheets.

A lot of times, people merge cells while creating headers or labels.

And you can also easily unmerge cells in Google Sheets. The process is quite similar to what you do when you have to merge cells. Read on to learn how to unmerge cells in Google Sheets.

How to Unmerge Cells in Google Sheets

Suppose you have the dataset as shown below and you want to unmerge a specific range of cells (B1:D1)

Data set that has merged cells that need to be unmerged

Below are the steps to do this:

  1. Select the range that you want to unmerge
  2. Click the Format option in the menuClick the Format tab
  3. Hover the cursor over the Merge Cells option
  4. Click on UnmergeClick on the Unmerge option

The above steps would instantly unmerge the selected cells.

Note that the unmerge option appears only when you have selected at least one merged range.

There is another (faster) way to unmerge cells in Google Sheets.

There is an option in the toolbar in Google Sheets that also has the option to unmerge.

Below are the steps to unmerge cells using the toolbar in Google Sheets:

  1. Select the range that you want to unmerge
  2. In the toolbar, there is a ‘Merge cells‘ icon. Click on the small triangle at the right of itClick on the merge cells icon in the toolbar
  3. In the options that appear, click on the ‘Unmerge’ option.Click on the Unmerge option in the toolbar

So there are two quick ways to unmerge cells in Google Sheets.

In case you have a lot of merged cells in the worksheet and you want to quickly unmerge all the cells in one go, select all the cells in the worksheet and then use any of the methods shown above. To select all the cells at one go, use the keyboard shortcut Control + A + A

How to Find Merged Cells in Google Sheets

Sometimes it’s difficult to see whether a cell is merged, or wrapped or set to overflow and look merged. In the below example, it looks like cells A1:C1 are merged, but it’s actually because the text is overflowing.

Merged vs Overflow

To check, you can:

  1. Select the range you wish to check for merged cells
  2. Navigate to Format > Wrapping > Clip
  3. Optional: Click the borders shortcut to highlight the cells to make it easier to see. Highlighted merged cells
  4. Optional: Press Ctrl+Z twice to undo the formatting and return it to the original settings

You’ll also notice above that when you click on the merged cell, it gives the cell range (B2:C2) instead of an individual cell name, indicating that these cells are merged.

Another alternative would be to make the text vertical to make the merged cells more obvious.

Shortcuts to Unmerge Cells

There is no direct unmerge shortcut in Google Sheets. You can select the merged cells and use the Ctrl + \ shortcut that removes formatting to unmerge them. But, keep in mind it will also remove all other formatting. You can also use keyboard shortcuts to open the menus. To unmerge through there, you must press Alt + O, then release Alt, and press M then U.

You can also select the cells and click the merge shortcut in the toolbar to merge and unmerge cells.

Merge Icon Location

How to Unmerge All Merged Cells in Google Sheets

Unfortunately, you can’t unmerge by selecting the entire sheet. If there are cells that aren’t merged as part of the range, the unmerge option will be grayed out. You have to select the merged cells individually.

But, Google Sheets can unmerge cells grouped rows and columns with merged cells next to each other.  The method of how to unmerge multiple cells in Google Sheets is the same as individual cells so long as there are only sets of merged cells within the range.

The Problem With Merged Cells (And Why You May Need to Unmerge Cells)

If you’re wondering why you may want to unmerge cells, let me give you some reasons.

With merged cells, you will not be able to properly sort or filter the data.

Another huge frustration I have with merged cells is that you try to select cells in a column that has a few merged cells. it automatically expands the selection to include these extra columns that have the merged cells.

When you Unmerge cells in Google Sheets, it gets rid of these problems.

Unmerge Cells Google Sheets FAQs

What Is the Shortcut to Unmerge Cells in Google Sheets?

There is no direct unmerge cells shortcut, but you can remove all formatting with the  Ctrl + \ shortcut.

How Do I Unmerge Cells Without Losing Data?

To not lose data when there are several sets of merged cells next to each other, select each merged cell set individually instead of together. Just click one cell instead of clicking ad dragging.

Now that you know how to unmerge cells in Google Sheets, you may also like the following tutorials:

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